Energy-efficient cable-actuation strategies of the V-Expander tensegrity structure subjected to five shape changes

Muhao Chen, Aguinaldo Fraddosio, Andrea Micheletti, Gaetano Pavone, Mario Daniele Piccioni, Robert E. Skelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents the energy-efficient cable-actuation strategy studies of the V-Expander tensegrity subject to different shape changes based on the nonlinear tensegrity dynamics and statics. First, we introduce the topology of a two-stage V-Expander tower assembled by two elementary cells and give the equations ruling the nonlinear statics and dynamics for tensegrity structures. Then, the cable-actuation process is realized by choosing suitable sets of cables as active and passive elements among the whole set of cables. The length of the active cables decreases during actuation, while passive cables adjust their length accordingly following the motion of the structure. Five shape-change types are considered: stretching, shrinking, flexure, shear, and torsion. We analyze the nonlinear static and dynamic behaviors during the morphing process with different actuation speeds. The actuation efficiency of each particular choice of active and passive cables is also discussed. The developed approaches can also be used to design and analyze various cable-driven tensegrity structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104026
JournalMechanics Research Communications
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.C. wishes to thank Ziying Cao for the great help received during the preparation of this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cable-actuated structure
  • Deployable structure
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Nonlinear statics
  • Tensegrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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